Simpson Millar Successfully Appeals Benefit Refusals for Disabled Clients

Author:
Agnieszka Januszkiewicz
Trainee Solicitor
Date:
16/04/2021

People with disabilities are eligible for a state benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). As a trainee solicitor working within the serious injury department, most of my clients meet the criteria for PIP, yet many have been found ineligible.

This often happens when the disability is hidden, such as chronic pain, psychiatric injuries and moderate brain injuries. Thankfully, I have been able to overturn some of these decisions to make sure eligible claimants are able to get this vital financial support.

So far, my clients have recovered on average about £8,000 each in back payments. I also made sure that they continue receiving PIP for the foreseeable future, which can be as much as £600 a month.

This extra money helps with the additional cost arising from having care. It becomes particularly relevant in cases where our clients aren’t able to rely on interim compensation payments (as is often the case at the beginning of the claim when the responsibility for the accident is disputed by those at fault).

Even when the interim payments are awarded, the PIP money helps them go further.

PIP provides some financial stability and the payments are completely independent from our clients’ personal injury claims. It’s a safe source of income which doesn’t depend on litigation or the other side’s insurer.

Not many law firms provide this vital service to their seriously injured clients. At Simpson Millar, we understand the life-changing impact of serious accidents. We go beyond securing compensation for our clients; we make sure their benefits are in order and they receive all the support they can.

I’m proud to have helped people get the state support they’re entitled to receive to make their day-to-day lives a little easier.

People We’ve Helped

In the most recent case, I was contacted by a family member of a Polish client whose English was limited. He had had an operation that left him in lots of pain and with limited movement. He wasn’t able to work anymore, his mental health deteriorated and his savings eventually dried up.

He lodged at a friend’s house, but after a while, he was asked to leave. He was placed in a hostel by the local council, but his room was completely unsuitable.

His PIP application was refused, leaving him with very little income, but I successfully appealed this decision on his behalf. He received over £10,000 back payment and £600 a month indefinitely.

I’ve put him in touch with a local Law Centre who have taken on his housing case. I also referred him to our Medical Negligence Solicitors, as it may be that negligent care led to his disability. Hopefully, this will be a turning point for him.

In another recent case, we were representing a seriously injured man in an extremely difficult financial position. He was getting Universal Credit, but with child maintenance deductions and some fines, he was left with only £200 a month to live on. Sometimes he had to go without eating as he simply couldn’t afford it.

Due to the complexities of this case, we could only obtain very limited interim payments of compensation, but these weren’t enough to meet his daily living expenses and provide any meaningful rehabilitation.

I helped to overturn his PIP decision and he received £7,000 back payment and was awarded regular payments of £400 a month for the next five years. With this state benefit and the modest interim payment, he was finally able to start living a normal life. We continue working with him to ensure he receives appropriate compensation at the conclusion of his case.

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